Everybody wants their kids to love vegetables, right?! I’ve never met a person that disagrees with that. Vegetables are packed with vitamins and nutrition and are so vital to our diet. But not every child loves vegetables. (Can I get an Amen?!) In fact, my kids certainly didn’t LOVE vegetables…until now.
My two oldest boys (ages 5 and 3) love vegetables. It’s crazy. I feel like I’m living a mother’s dream when I see my kids go to the fridge and get a handful of spinach for a snack. Or when they cheer when broccoli is part of their dinner (which is most nights!). It is music to my ears and I have to pinch myself to realize that this is true! I am a proud mom.
But you know what? This was not always the case. In fact, just a year or so ago, it took everything in me to get them to swallow just one bite of vegetables from their plate. Talk about frustrating!! As babies, they both loved vegetable baby food, but somewhere between age 1 and 3, they lost their love for vegetables. I knew I had to do something about this!
Since my boys were newborns, I’ve taken them to the chiropractor. I love the health advice my chiropractor has to offer. On multiple occasions, he’s told me that it takes around 13 times for a person’s taste buds to start liking new food. (I’m not sure where he got that statistic and I realize that this is not a sure-fire way for kids to like new foods.) He challenged me to always put vegetables on their plates and make them try at least 3 bites of it. And if they wanted a second helping of something else on their plates, they would need to finish their vegetables first. I’ve tried it over the years and it has worked!
Gradually, my kids started to LOVE vegetables. In fact, I didn’t really notice this was happening until lately. I’ve noticed that instead of snacking on goldfish crackers, they will devour a whole bag of carrots together. Or they choose to eat raw spinach instead of pizza. And certainly every time there’s broccoli on their plate, it is the first thing they eat. It’s so wonderful to see! There are still vegetables we are working on, but it’s a work in progress! (And yes, they still like goldfish and other snacks, they are just preferring to eat veggies these days!)
Here are my tips for helping kids love vegetables:
- Offer vegetables daily! I try to have at least one vegetable at lunch and dinner. I beieve this is why my kids love vegetables…it is given to them a lot.
- Eat vegetables in front of them. Show they that you like vegetables, too! Be good role models for them.
- Talk positively about them. Express that you like eating them, too!
- Don’t force them to eat all their vegetables. Have them try three bites of it. It sometimes takes a long time for taste buds to start liking foods!
- Hide vegetables in smoothies. If you really can’t get them to eat them, try putting spinach, kale, or other greens in smoothies. I used to do this with my kids, but have not done this in a while. I prefer that they get used to the actual vegetable taste, but this is a good alternative.
- Hide vegetables in yummy soup! We make a delicious quinoa soup that is full of vegetables and my kids love it!
I am not a health expert, I am just sharing what worked for our family. I know that some of you have tried everything under the sun to help your child like vegetables, but this is what worked for us. I am a proud mama and am so happy that they finally love vegetables!!
What about you? Do your kids like vegetables?